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My friend is severely depressed and unresponsive to reason. I'm worried. Should I intervene?
For the past few years my good friend since childhood has been extremely depressed. When we were in high school, her parent’s marriage fell apart and her father committed suicide. This was quite shocking since she was always the one out of our group of friends who had the “perfect” family with no fighting or strife. She holds her mother responsible for this and no longer speaks to her. This was seven years ago and she’s still almost as shaken by it as when it happened.
Since then, she’s graduated from a great university, has a career in a good city, is very attractive, bright, and generally has all the tools she needs to have a happy and successful life if she were willing to try. The problem is, she’s one of the most unhappy people I know.
My friend has always been a bit of a difficult person and high-maintenance is an understatement when describing her. Everywhere she goes, anxiety, drama, and unhappiness seem to follow. She hates her job because all of her coworkers are “evil” and supposedly don’t like her. All of her friends in her new city are “annoying”. She doesn’t seem to be grateful for any of the good things she has in her life like being gainfully employed, financially stable and having friends who like her and just want to hang out with her.
In her mind, everyone is against her, everything is terrible, and nothing seems to satisfy her except for very brief periods of time. She claims to have every physical ailment under the sun despite being in good enough shape to do a half marathon a couple of months ago. She holds bitter grudges against people who are long gone from her life, is suspicious of everything and everyone, still cries daily over some jerk who used her and broke up with her over a year ago (and refuses to delete him from all social media) and has on one occasion that I know of, even attempted suicide which resulted in me immediately getting on a plane to stay the weekend with her and make sure she’s safe.
I’ve known this girl most of my life and love her like a sister but honestly, sometimes her stress is contagious and honestly, her untreated emotional issues make her behave in very selfish and inconsiderate ways. The last time I visited her she wasn’t a very good host to the point of being irrational and kind of outrageous. She wanted me to change my plane ticket to come into an airport ten minutes closer to her ($$$$) and almost wouldn’t take me to have brunch with my brother who lives near her because she “didn’t want to drive twenty minutes.” When we did go out to eat, it took her two hours to pick a place while I was starving because no place seemed exactly to her specifications on the internet. It wasn’t until I begged ten times to make up her mind that she finally relented and chose a place. I brought her a gift and took her to dinner to thank her for her “hospitality”.
She came to see me this weekend in my city and honestly caused me more stress than pleasure. She was rude to my boyfriend who she doesn’t like for no particularly good reason (suspicious and paranoid once again) which of course, caused tension at one point between him and I until he realized that I wasn’t at fault and had nothing to do with how she treated him. Tried to control every little thing we did despite not knowing anything about NYC yet still thinking she was the expert on everything. Did nothing but complain and acted miserable while crying about how unhappy she was.
It made me sad and honestly frustrated because just as I have for years, I tried to gently suggest things to help her. Of course, I suggested seeing a therapist but she just kept telling me she “tried” and didn’t like it. Okay, so I took her with me to Chinatown while I picked up some herbs for myself (I’m a believer in homeopathy for certain things) and showed her some things that worked for my struggles with depression and anxiety after my Mom died. She wasn’t interested and kind of scoffed me off. I offered to take her to a meditation class. Once again, thought it was a stupid idea.
She got visibly annoyed and terse at my boyfriend and I for ordering before her at a restaurant because it was taking her a ½ hour to make up her mind and got very huffy when I suggested we should head out at 11pm since I had to work the next morning. By the time she left I was at my wits end and she seemed upset with me.
My friend is no longer the person I remember it breaks my heart. I want so badly to help her but she hasn’t responded to everything I suggest. I’m genuinely worried that if she doesn’t get help she’ll end up hurting herself eventually or just living a very unhappy life. I want to maintain a relationship but don’t know how if she’s going to be like this. Is there any way that I could help her or intervene without making it worse? I’ve been thinking about asking our mutual friends for help but she’s very stubborn and seems to prefer to be unhappy over taking steps to get better. I almost want to buy her a massage gift certificate and include a letter about being kinder to herself. Would that be crazy or inappropriate?